Sheff Utd Cruise Past Chelsea, Liverpool’s Record Bid Hit By Burnley

Sheffield United's English-born Irish striker David McGoldrick (R) scores his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on July 11, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)
Sheffield United’s English-born Irish striker David McGoldrick (R) scores his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on July 11, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Sheffield United dealt a major blow to Chelsea’s chances of a Premier League top-four finish by thrashing the Blues 3-0 at Bramall Lane, while Liverpool’s long winning run at Anfield came to an end in a 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.

Manchester City did guarantee their presence in the top four for a 10th successive season with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Brighton.

However, they will have to wait for the outcome on Monday of their appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions to see if they will play Champions League football.

Norwich will be playing in the Championship after Michail Antonio’s four-goal blitz confirmed the Canaries’ relegation in a thumping 4-0 win for West Ham that should seal the Hammers’ top-flight status for another season.

Sheffield United have long since achieved that feat in their first season in the Premier League for 13 years and the Blades are still eying the top four themselves as they moved within five points of fourth-placed Leicester.

Chelsea remain in third, but could end the weekend down in fifth if Leicester and Manchester United beat Bournemouth and Southampton respectively.

The Blues have already reinforced their attack for next season with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, but Frank Lampard was again shown it is at the other end his side desperately need to improve.

David McGoldrick’s long wait for a first Premier League goal came to an end when he was quickest to react after Kepa Arrizabalaga saved Oli McBurnie’s deflected shot.

More slack defending from the visitors then allowed McBurnie a free header to double the hosts’ lead.

Lampard sent on Antonio Rudiger at the start of the second-half, but the German international did little to improve Chelsea’s defending as his attempted clearance from Lys Mousset’s cross only teed up McGoldrick to score his second 13 minutes from time.

“They were better than us, physically, in the mind and with the ball. So you lose the game,” said Lampard.

– Liverpool held -For the first time since January 2018, Liverpool failed to win a Premier League game at Anfield as an inspired performance by Nick Pope in the Burnley goal and Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser to cancel out Andy Robertson’s first half header gave Burnley a share of the spoils.

Jurgen Klopp’s men now need to win their remaining three games to be surpass the record total of 100 points in a Premier League season set by City two years ago.

“We left the door open, we didn’t close it. We should have scored two, three, four goals at least,” said Klopp.

City scored four or more goals for the fourth time in six league games at Brighton.

Sterling’s treble took his best ever season’s tally to 27, while Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva also netted in another rout for a pleased Pep Guardiola.

– Norwich relegated –
At Carrow Road, a seventh successive league defeat condemned Norwich to relegation as Antonio’s ruthless display boosted West Ham’s own survival bid.

“We wanted to beat the odds again but when the dust settles the outcome is more or less what was expected. It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we are disappointed,” manager Daniel Farke said.

West Ham’s second win in four games opens up a six-point cushion over the bottom three.

The early signs were ominous for Norwich as West Ham took the lead in the 11th minute through Antonio’s close-range volley.

Antonio struck again in first-half stoppage-time, glancing his header into the far corner from Mark Noble’s free-kick.

He completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute with a looping header and his fourth came in the 74th minute from Ryan Fredericks’ cross.

Watford also moved to the brink of survival as two Troy Deeney penalties beat Newcastle 2-1 to move level with West Ham on 34 points.

 

 

AFP

Man City Thrash Burnley To Delay Liverpool’s Title Claim

Manchester City's Spanish midfielder David Silva scores the fourth goal past Burnley's English goalkeeper Nick Pope during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 22, 2020. Michael REGAN / POOL / AFP
Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder David Silva scores the fourth goal past Burnley’s English goalkeeper Nick Pope during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 22, 2020.
Michael REGAN / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City thrashed Burnley 5-0 at an empty Etihad to ensure Liverpool will not be able to clinch the Premier League title when they face Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez scored twice, while David Silva grabbed what could prove his final City goal to cut the gap at the top to 20 points.

A bad night for Burnley on the field was compounded by a banner flown over the stadium at the start of the match reading: “White lives matter Burnley”.

Black Lives Matter was printed on the back of all shirts for the first 12 matches of the Premier League restart.

Players, coaches and referees have also taken a knee before kick-off in every match to show their support for the fight against racial injustice.

In a statement, Burnley said: “Those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for.”

The disparity of resources between the sides was shown even before kick-off as Burnley boss Sean Dyche could not even fill his bench, while Pep Guardiola was able to make eight changes from a 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday.

Dyche has been left frustrated by the Burnley board’s refusal to extend contracts of five players who are out of contract at the end of the month.

Injuries to Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson meant Dyche could name just seven of a possible nine substitutes.

Aymeric Laporte, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were among those kept in reserve for City’s trip to Chelsea on Thursday.

Foden shines as Sane returns

Foden made the most of his chance to start as the 20-year-old opened the floodgates with a sweet strike from outside the box.

Mahrez then killed the game as a contest before half-time as the Algerian left Charlie Taylor trailing on the floor before firing into the far corner on his weaker right foot.

VAR awarded Mahrez the chance to double his tally from the penalty spot after Ben Mee caught Sergio Aguero, forcing the Argentine striker off injured.

Retaining their Premier League title may be beyond City, but Guardiola’s men still have the chance to add the FA Cup and Champions League to the League Cup they won in March.

The fierce competition for places appears to be having an effect as there was no let-up after the break.

Bernardo Silva’s low cross was turned home by his namesake David for the hosts’ fourth.

Foden then rounded off the scoring at the far post after Gabriel Jesus failed to convert David Silva’s cross.

There was another positive for City as Leroy Sane replaced Foden for the final 10 minutes to make his first appearance since suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in August.

The German international seems certain to leave the club at the end of the season after rejecting a new contract amid interest from Bayern Munich.

But Sane could still have a part to play in City’s quest for a cup treble before the end of the campaign.

 

AFP

Dele Alli Rescues Mourinho’s Tottenham At Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Dele Alli rescued a point for faltering Tottenham at Burnley on Saturday, scoring a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw and keep Jose Mourinho’s team in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The home side were dominant in the first half at Turf Moor, taking the lead through Chris Wood, but a much-improved Spurs battled back after the break to avoid a damaging third straight defeat.

Sean Dyche’s men, who were in relegation trouble as recently as January, are now unbeaten in seven league games but will rue missing the chance to clamber above Spurs after taking the lead.

The draw leaves Tottenham in eighth place, just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind fifth-placed Wolves. Burnley are a further two points adrift.

Fifth spot could be enough to secure Champions League football next season depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban.

“There was a lot of aggression at half-time, we knew we were not good enough,” said Alli, whose goal was his 50th in the Premier League.

“If you switch off for a second they can punish you. Going in at half time 1-0 down, it was a sticky changing room to be. But we did better and created enough opportunities to win.”

Spurs, again without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, started brightly but Burnley were quickly into their stride and deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute.

Jay Rodriguez shot straight at Hugo Lloris from the edge of the box but the Tottenham goalkeeper spilled the shot and Wood pounced to tap home the rebound.

Burnley continued to carry more of a threat, regularly unsettling the Spurs defence and Dwight McNeil forced a flying save from Lloris from a free-kick.

Ashley Westwood fired wide eight minutes before the break while Wood was narrowly off target from Westwood’s free-kick.

Spurs changes

Mourinho made two substitutions at half-time to lift his flat team, bringing on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele.

Burnley were quickly out of the blocks, putting Spurs’ creaking defence under pressure but the visitors were given a lifeline when Ben Mee clumsily tripped Erik Lamela in the 48th minute.

Alli stepped up and sent Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way, burying the ball in the bottom right corner.

The goal lifted the visitors, who were suddenly playing with more confidence but Burnley’s players believed they had a case for a penalty minutes later when Davinson Sanchez made a robust challenge on Wood.

There were chances for both sides as the second half wore on.

Wood shot straight at Lloris while Lo Celso curled just wide at the other end. Minutes later Burnley substitute Matej Vydra saw his close-range shot saved by the sprawling Spurs goalkeeper as they pushed for the winner.

Liverpool are just three wins away from guaranteeing their first top-flight title since 1990 and Manchester City look secure in second place, seven points clear of Leicester.

But just six points separate Chelsea from Crystal Palace in 11th spot.

 

AFP

Burnley Hold Arsenal To Goalless Draw

Arsenal’s German defender Shkodran Mustafi wins a header from Burnley’s New Zealand striker Chris Wood during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Arsenal at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 2, 2020. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Arsenal lost more ground in the race to finish in the Premier League’s top four after being held to a 0-0 draw at Burnley on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side are trailing 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and look certain to fall well short of the Champions League places.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Arteta, who saw his team squander several chances to take the lead in a match they could easily have lost with better finishing from Burnley.

Arsenal are without a win in their last four league games, having drawn all four of them, and Arteta has won just once in seven league matches since replacing the sacked Unai Emery.

Arteta can point to only one defeat in that period and there is no doubt Arsenal are more competitive than they were under Emery.

Even so, they still look creaky at the back and lack a cutting edge up front, a concerning issue given the supposed wealth of attacking options in Arteta’s squad.

Arsenal have now drawn five consecutive away league matches for the first time since August 1948 and actually sit closer to the relegation zone — seven points away — than the top four.

New signings Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari were missing from the Arsenal squad due to fitness concerns.

But Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang returned after serving a suspension for his red card at Crystal Palace.

Mesut Ozil made his 250th Arsenal appearance after reports Arteta has blocked the German from joining a Qatari club.

Ozil and Aubameyang combined to carve open the Burnley defence in the opening moments, but Alexandre Lacazette headed wide from the Gabon striker’s cross.

Arteta had his players run into boxing bags at the club’s training ground this week in an unusual attempt to prepare for the physical test posed by Burnley.

 Work ethic 

Arsenal were up for the challenge, moving the ball quickly and with purpose at times.

But Aubameyang should have done better than shoot harmlessly wide after getting behind Matt Lowton to reach David Luiz’s long pass.

After a slow start, Burnley threatened when Jay Rodriguez tested Bernd Leno with a stinging drive before Dwight McNeil blasted just over.

Arsenal remained dangerous on the counter and Burnley keeper Nick Pope did well to block Aubameyang’s chip.

Kept in the contest by their relentless work ethic, Burnley could have snatched the lead when Jeff Hendrick scooped wastefully over from McNeil’s cross.

Arsenal suffered a blow when young left-back Bukayo Saka was forced off at the interval after initially playing through his first-half injury.

Arteta’s defence were exposed in the air time and again as Burnley dominated after half-time.

They stood rooted to the spot when James Tarkowski headed a free-kick wide before Hendrick nodded past the post from McNeil’s cross.

Aubameyang has seven goals in four games against Burnley, but he couldn’t break the deadlock this time, diving to head wide from Lacazette’s cross.

Rodriguez should have won it for Burnley when he met McNeil’s cross with a close-range volley that hit the bar and bounced down on the line, with goalline technology confirming the whole ball did not go over.

AFP

Solskjaer Pleads For Patience After Man United’s Loss To Burnley

Unfit United Players Risk Exclusion From Pre-Season Tour, Solskjaer Warns
Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacts after the final whistle in the English Premier League football match against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on April 21, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleaded for time to get Manchester United back on track after the beleaguered boss and his under-performing stars were booed off and labelled an “embarrassment” following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat against Burnley.

Solskjaer’s side were rocked by Chris Wood’s first-half opener before Jay Rodriguez scored with a superb strike after the break at Old Trafford.

It was a woeful display from fifth-placed United, who are in such poor form that there will be fresh questions about Solskjaer’s job security in the coming days.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, a Premier League and Champions League winner with the club, slammed the performance and called for owners Glazer family to take action to stop the rot.

“Fans are walking out after 84 minutes! It’s an embarrassment. People at the top need to look and see this and make changes,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“The downward spiral in this short space of time, it’s only seven years, has been remarkable.”

Solskjaer had no complaints about a result that laid bare everything wrong with a rudderless team lacking steel in defence, creativity in midfield and a cutting edge upfront.

“We have got to hold our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough. In the first half, we created some half openings but we were not sharp enough to take our chances,” Solskjaer said.

“The boys have given everything they have got but they are experiencing this period for the first time in their lives.

“When you are at Manchester United you are playing at the biggest and best club in the world. Some of them have played 10, 12, 15 games and it’s not easy for them.”

United trail six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea but, given how they have struggled so often this season, the only surprise is that the gap isn’t bigger.

United’s tally of 34 points is their lowest after 24 matches of a top-flight season since 1989-90 and the majority of Old Trafford was on its feet when chants of “stand up if you hate Glazers” echoed around the ground.

 ‘Mentally tired’ 

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also subjected to abusive chants in a toxic atmosphere, while those few fans who remained in the stadium booed Solskjaer and his players at full-time.

But Solskjaer is still adamant he can turn the tide if he is given time to develop United youngsters like Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams.

“I’m going to back them and help them get through this. The players are giving everything, they have done absolutely fantastic so far this season but they know it wasn’t good enough tonight,” Solskjaer said.

“The boys looked mentally tired towards the end, we didn’t find that creativity. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“When you are at Man United you are privileged because you are playing for the best club in the world. Sometimes you go through periods like that and it is a test I am sure they are going to come through.”

United must regroup to avoid more misery in the FA Cup fourth round against Watford or Tranmere on Sunday before they head to Manchester City looking to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit in the League Cup semi-finals next Wednesday.

If United are knocked out of both cup competitions, Solskjaer is likely to find the patience of supporters who idolised him during his playing days will dwindle even further.

The gap between United and runaway leaders Liverpool stood at 30 points after Sunday’s defeat at Anfield and there is no sign of Solskjaer bridging the divide any time soon.

Aware the pressure is mounting, Solskjaer is keen to make signings to bolster his injury-hit squad, with leading scorer Marcus Rashford and star midfielder Paul Pogba both sidelined.

“We are looking to improve, we have got our targets. This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner,” he said.

“We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until the window closes. We are working on things.

“For me, the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team.”

AFP

Burnley On The Rise As Westwood’s Late Strike Stuns Leicester

Burnley’s English midfielder Ashley Westwood (R) shoots past Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (C) to score their second goal to take the lead 2-1 during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on January 19, 2020. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Burnley fought back to boost their bid for Premier League survival as Ashley Westwood’s late goal clinched a 2-1 win over Leicester on Sunday.

Sean Dyche’s side trailed to a first-half goal from Burnley-born Harvey Barnes at Turf Moor.

But Chris Wood equalised after half-time before Burnley keeper Nick Pope saved a penalty from Jamie Vardy.

Burnley’s impressive revival was completed 11 minutes from full-time when Westwood fired home to end their run of four successive league defeats and move them five points clear of the bottom three.

It was the perfect way to mark Dyche’s 300th game as Burnley boss after seven defeats from their previous nine games had plunged them into the relegation battle.

Leicester’s surprise home defeat against Southampton last weekend knocked them out of second place and this was another setback for Brendan Rodgers’ suddenly spluttering team.

The Foxes remain third despite a fourth loss in their last six league matches

Leicester’s cause wasn’t helped by the absence of rested England left-back Ben Chilwell amid talk of a potential move to Chelsea during the January transfer window.

Within the first minute, a simple long ball headed on by Vardy unhinged the Burnley defence and Barnes cut inside to test Pope.

Burnley’s effort couldn’t be faulted but at first they lacked composure and quality in the final third.

Westwood found Wood in space but his low strike drifted wide, then Jay Rodriguez shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel from long-range.

Leicester deservedly took the lead in the 33rd minute.

With Burnley appealing in vain for a foul by Dennis Praet on Jack Cork, Leicester stole possession and Barnes raced into the penalty area.

Vardy cleverly made a run that distracted James Tarkowski and Barnes stepped past Ben Mee to drill a cool finish under Pope for his third goal of the season.

Wood couldn’t finish off Cork’s tempting cross as Burnley failed to score a first half goal in 11 successive league games.

Vardy nearly doubled Leicester’s lead soon after the interval with a stinging strike following a vibrant attack from the visitors.

But Burnley kept plugging away and Wood headed over from a good position six yards out.

It was a warning Leicester failed to heed and New Zealand striker Wood made them pay in the 56th minute when he tapped in his ninth league goal of the season after Schmeichel pushed Mee’s header into his path.

Rodgers’ side had a golden opportunity to retake the lead when Mee’s foul on Barnes gave them a penalty.

Vardy stepped up to take it after a lengthy VAR check, but Pope dived to his left to make a fine save.

Pope stood tall to deny Vardy again when Leicester’s leading scorer broke through on goal.

Vardy’s misses proved fatal as Burnley won it in the 79th minute.

Charlie Taylor’s cross wasn’t cleared by Jonny Evans and Westwood pounced with a close-range finish that left Leicester shell-shocked.

Martial, Rashford Score For United In Burnley Win

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial (C) puts the ball in the back of the net but is ruled to have fouled Burnley’s English defender James Tarkowski (L) ruling out the goal during the English Premier League football match at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on December 28, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford scored late in each half as Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win at Burnley.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have responded positively to disappointing 2-0 defeat to then bottom-of-the-table Watford less than a week ago to head into the new year with fresh belief they can secure a return to the Champions League next season.

If United are to achieve that goal, Martial and Rashford will be key and they again provided the goals for the Red Devils in a game of few clear-cut chances.

There were also positives for Solskjaer at the back as his side ended a club-record 14-match run without a Premier League clean sheet.

Burnley have not beaten United since 2009 and never looked likely to spring a surprise.

Rashford was first to threaten when he hit the outside of the post midway through the first half.

But Burnley were architects of their own downfall just before half-time when Charlie Taylor gifted possession to Andreas Perreira and he fed Martial to score his third goal in two games.

Phil Bardsley forced David De Gea into a fine save with Burnley’s only shot on target.

United finally got the second goal their performance deserved to add a shine to the scoreline deep into stoppage time.

Daniel James led a counter-attack down the right and Rashford slotted home his 16th goal of the season at the second attempt after slipping as he rounded Nick Pope.

‘Son-aldo!’: Mourinho Salutes South Korean’s Wonder-Goal

 

 

Jose Mourinho hailed Son Heung-min’s wonder-strike in Tottenham’s 5-0 thrashing of Burnley as the best goal he has seen since an equally stunning effort from Brazilian legend Ronaldo.

On the day he was presented with the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award by compatriot Park Ji-sung, Son underlined his place among the game’s elite with arguably the greatest goal of his glittering career.

With Spurs already rampant after early goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, Son stole the show before half-time in north London when he ran from deep inside his own half past a host of Burnley defenders and capped the astonishing burst with an ice-cool finish.

Son’s 77 goals in Spurs colours since his 2015 move from Bayer Leverkusen have featured some memorable moments but none have been quite as dazzling as this one.

The 27-year-old winger’s 10th goal of the season ranks among the best ever scored by a Tottenham player, alongside Ricky Villa’s 1981 FA Cup final gem and Gareth Bale’s Champions League classic against Inter Milan in 2010.

Fans on social media compared the goal to classics from Lionel Messi and George Weah, but Tottenham boss Mourinho recalled a sublime solo strike from Ronaldo during his time as a Barcelona assistant.

“Before this goal my son calls him Son-aldo and today he was Son-aldo!” Mourinho said.

“This was an amazing goal. I know that he is going to reach the face of the keeper, his control is unstoppable. The keeper is good, but he managed to put it in.

“The only thing that compares was when I was at Barcelona with Bobby Robson. Ronaldo Nazario, Compostela against Barcelona, 1996.

“Ronaldo got the ball near the halfway line and scored a similar goal, an amazing goal.”

After working with Son for just a few weeks since replacing Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho has already developed an extra appreciation for a player he had always admired from afar.

“From the outside I had the feeling about him. I remember speaking with Sir Alex (Ferguson) about Park Ji-sung. It is a cultural thing. They like to learn, they are very humble,” Mourinho said.

“I met his parents. I understand where it comes from. The kid is fantastic. I am so happy.”

Unselfish Son

Always modest and unselfish, Son claimed he had wanted to pass rather than go on his epic run.

“When I got the ball and tried to pass it to Dele (Alli) but I couldn’t find him so I just kept going. I am happy to score this goal,” Son told a television interview while Mourinho shouted “give him the man of the match” in the background.

Tottenham captain Kane benefitted from Son’s excellence as the first of his two goals came from the South Korean’s assist.

And Kane was quick to pay tribute to Son’s headline-grabbing performance.

“Sonny stole the show today. An unbelievable goal, a great counter attack,” he said.

“All he wants to do is work hard and play for the team. He has great quality and works hard for the team.”

Tottenham’s biggest Premier League win of the season was a welcome tonic for Mourinho after his 100 percent start came to an end at his former club Manchester United in midweek.

“The performance was important, happiness for the fans, happiness for the team, a clean-sheet. I am really happy,” said Mourinho, whose side are up to fifth place.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was less keen to join the praise for Son, preferring to blame his players for not fouling the winger before he got close to the penalty area.

“It’s at source we didn’t deal with it. Once he gets running, it’s time for a technical foul. We are not good at that and didn’t do it,” Dyche said.

“Of course from his point of view it is a fantastic goal.”

Tottenham Crush Burnley In Five-Goal Showdown

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match against Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on December 7, 2019. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

 

Son Heung-min scored a sublime contender for the Premier League’s goal of the season as the South Korean’s moment of genius inspired Tottenham’s 5-0 rout of Burnley on Saturday.

On the day he was presented with the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award by compatriot Park Ji-sung, Son underlined his place among the game’s elite with arguably the greatest effort of his glittering career.

With Spurs already rampant after early goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, Son stole the show before half-time when he ran from deep inside his own half past a host of Burnley defenders and capped the astonishing burst with an ice-cool finish.

Since christening the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with its first senior goal last season, Son has now been directly involved in 15 goals in 15 appearances at the plush north London arena.

Son’s 77 goals in Spurs colours since his 2015 move from Bayer Leverkusen have featured some memorable moments but none have been quite as dazzling as this one.

The 27-year-old winger’s 10th goal of the season ranks among the best ever scored by a Tottenham player, alongside Ricky Villa’s 1981 FA Cup final gem and Gareth Bale’s Champions League classic against Inter Milan in 2010.

It was the culmination of a swaggering Tottenham display that featured further goals from Kane and Moussa Sissoko, putting them back on track after their 100 per cent start under new boss Jose Mourinho was ended by Wednesday’s defeat at his former club Manchester United.

As if Son’s masterclass wasn’t enough to lift Mourinho’s spirits, Tottenham also kept the first clean-sheet of his reign after conceding twice in each of his first four matches.

Tottenham are up to fifth place, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, after their fourth win in five games in all competitions under Mourinho.

Aware that his players were feeling sorry for themselves in the Old Trafford dressing room on Wednesday, Mourinho urged them to respond to the first setback of his reign by showing “rage and anger”.

It took just five minutes to see Mourinho’s impassioned plea had the desired effect.

Son laid a cushioned pass into Kane’s path and, with the Burnley defence backing off too far, he advanced unchecked before blasting a thunderous 25-yard strike past Nick Pope.

Tottenham were pouring forward with such pace and poise that Burnley were powerless to stem the tide as Mourinho’s men struck again four minutes later.

– Jaw-dropping –

Son was involved again with a scintillating run and low shot that Pope blocked into the path of Burnley defender Ben Mee, who deflected it high into the air.

Dele Alli flicked a back header towards the net and Lucas was on hand to tap in his fourth goal of the season from virtually on the goal-line.

Mourinho slept at Tottenham’s training ground immediately after flying back from Manchester, allowing him extra time to work on the Burnley game-plan, but even he couldn’t have drawn up Son’s 32nd-minute stunner.

Taking possession on the edge of his own penalty area, Son looked for a pass before deciding the best option was to go it alone.

He accelerated with such speed that in the blink of an eye he was past McNeil’s challenge and through a Burnley defence still regrouping from their own attack.

After evading Eric Pieters’ despairing lunge, Son was face to face with Pope and his clinical low strike was the perfect finish to a jaw-dropping goal.

Tottenham weren’t finished yet and Kane got his second in the 54th minute, cleverly gliding away from two Burnley defenders before firing into the roof of the net from 18 yards for his 15th club goal of another prolific season.

Sissoko’s emphatic drive rounded off Tottenham’s biggest league win of the season in the 74th minute.

AFP

Pulisic Stars For Chelsea As Man City Close On Liverpool

Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (C) scores their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 26, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Christian Pulisic hit the first hat-trick of his career as Chelsea crushed Burnley 4-2 on Saturday while Manchester City overcame a sluggish start to beat Aston Villa and increase the pressure on Liverpool.

In the early kick-off, a frustrated Pep Guardiola watched his side recover from a tepid first half to defeat Villa 3-0 and close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to three points.

US international Pulisic scored his first goals for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, who have now won four straight Premier League games, while Marco Silva is under pressure after another Everton defeat.

Pulisic, who had not previously scored for Chelsea and has struggled to win a starting berth, emphatically staked his claim with a hat-trick at Turf Moor.

The 21-year-old capitalised on some indecision from Burnley to drive into the penalty area and steer a low left-footed shot into the corner of Nick Pope’s net midway through the first period.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger doubled his tally for the Blues with a second goal just before half-time, benefiting from a big deflection off Ben Mee, and grabbed his third with a second-half header.

Willian added a fourth for rampant Chelsea in the 58th minute to take the score to 4-0 and despite late goals for Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil, the visitors avoided further shocks to win 4-2.

Earlier, City boss Guardiola was frustrated with the way his players struggled to establish any momentum in the first half against Villa despite an ultimately comfortable win at the Etihad Stadium.

“Of course, respect and credit for Aston Villa. The first half we played football but we don’t play in the way we should play,” Guardiola said, after second-half goals from Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.

“We were better in the second half. I don’t know if it was because of the early goal.

“In the second we play in the way we normally do but we have to try and play 90 minutes. We played just 45.”

City’s second successive league win means Liverpool are under pressure to beat Tottenham at Anfield in Sunday’s clash between last season’s Champions League finalists.

 Tarnished Silva 

At the Amex Stadium, Everton blew a 2-1 lead over Brighton in the final 10 minutes to leave boss Silva fighting to save his job.

Silva’s side recovered from conceding the first goal to lead but Brighton’s Neal Maupay scored an 80th-minute penalty after Michael Keane was controversially ruled by VAR to have fouled Aaron Connolly.

And Everton defender Lucas Digne added to Silva’s woes when his stoppage-time own goal from Leandro Trossard’s cross left Everton two points above the relegation zone after their fifth defeat in their past six league games.

“We have to be more mature to control the last 10 minutes,” Silva told the BBC. “It’s a tough moment for us. We have to stick together.”

Watford remain bottom of the table after a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth.

Lys Mousset, who scored the winner against Arsenal last week, finished a memorable week on a high note with the equaliser in Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Saturday’s action could not eclipse Leicester’s incredible 9-0 thrashing of Southampton at St Mary’s 24 hours earlier.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes there is even better to come from Leicester after they equalled the biggest margin of victory in the Premier League era.

Leicester are third after hat-tricks from Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy secured the biggest away win in English top-flight history.

“I think we’ll get better, we will improve. Of course the result and performance is perfect,” Rodgers said.

“We have young players who are only going to gain even more confidence. We will get better. We certainly won’t just be content with what we’re doing.”

Aside from the Liverpool-Spurs clash on Sunday, Newcastle host Wolves, Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at home and Manchester United travel to Norwich.

AFP

Liverpool Record 13th Straight Premier League Win At Burnley

Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during their Premier League football match against Burnley at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on August 31, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

 

Liverpool recorded a club record 13th consecutive Premier League win to move back to the top of the table with minimal fuss courtesy of a 3-0 victory at Burnley on Saturday.

Two goals in four first-half minutes swung the game decisively in the visitors’ favour as Chris Wood deflected Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross into his own net before Sadio Mane’s cool finish on the counter-attack doubled Liverpool’s advantage.

Roberto Firmino then rounded off the scoring 10 minutes from time as the Reds maintained their 100 percent start to the season after four games.

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Victory takes the European champions back two points clear of Manchester City, who were also in dominant form to beat Brighton 4-0 earlier in the day.

Burnley were left to rue missing the first big chance of the match when Wood got in behind the Liverpool defence just three minutes in and turned Virgil van Dijk, but the New Zealander’s shot was just too close to Adrian, who palmed the ball to safety.

Liverpool went straight down the other end and were inches away from an early lead themselves when Mohamed Salah’s fiercely struck effort came back off the post.

The Egyptian then did not get the break of the ball as Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope’s clearance bounced off Salah and inches wide.

However, fortune did favour Jurgen Klopp’s men 12 minutes before half-time.

Alexander-Arnold was clearly looking to deliver a cross into the box, but the ball flicked off Wood and looped over Pope into the far corner.

Burnley then played a huge part in their own downfall moments later when Ben Mee gifted possession to Firmino inside the hosts’ half.

Firmino strode forward before releasing a perfect pass so Mane did not have to break his stride in finding the bottom corner.

Liverpool could ease off the gas after the break to record their first clean sheet of the season as Burnley rarely threatened to get back into the game.

Firmino became the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals when he found the bottom corner from just outside the box.

However, there was one flashpoint that will not have pleased Klopp as Mane reacted angrily after being substituted moments after Salah chooses to go for goal himself rather than squaring for his teammate, who appeared in a better position.

Burnley, Brighton Enjoy Strong Starts As City Rout West Ham

Burnley’s English striker Ashley Barnes (C) celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on August 10, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP.

 

 

Manchester City opened the defence of their Premier League title in ominous fashion on Saturday as Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham, while Burnley and Brighton enjoyed impressive wins.

However, the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) for the first time in the Premier League proved Saturday’s big talking point with a series of reviews and delays at the London Stadium.

City had a goal ruled out for the tightest of offside calls against Sterling and Sergio Aguero was afforded the chance to retake a penalty by VAR after seeing his first attempt saved.

“Only what I wish is that VAR doesn’t make mistakes please,” said City boss Pep Guardiola, who felt that his side’s disallowed goal should have stood.

Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Norwich on Friday sent the message to City that they are up for another titanic title battle after missing out by just one point last season.

But in a worrying sign for those trying to stop Guardiola’s men romping to a third straight league crown, City cruised to victory despite being far from their best before half-time.

The visitors led at the break thanks to Gabriel Jesus’ opener, but moved through the gears after the break as Sterling scored twice in 14 minutes.

Aguero then denied the England international the chance to seal his hat-trick from the spot, before the 24-year-old eventually grabbed his third goal of the game in stoppage time.

“Perfect start? It terms of the result yes, in terms of the performance no,” said the ever-demanding Guardiola. “In the first-half we were sloppy with our passes.”

– Potter’s perfect start –

Brighton’s new manager Graham Potter enjoyed a dream start to his time in charge as the Seagulls beat last season’s FA Cup finalists Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s own goal gave the visitors a half-time lead before Florin Andone and Neil Maupay on his debut sealed a highly impressive three points for a Brighton side that narrowly escaped relegation last season.

Burnley were also 3-0 winners at Turf Moor as an Ashley Barnes double and Johann Gudmundsson’s strike condemned Southampton to a heavy defeat.

Crystal Palace’s wantaway star Wilfried Zaha put his grievances with the club’s hierarchy behind him to make an appearance as a second-half substitute against Everton, but neither side could break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw.

Zaha could have lined up for the visitors at Selhurst Park as Palace ignored a transfer request from the Ivorian to reject two bids from the Toffees after interest from Arsenal earlier in the transfer window cooled.

Everton were one of the biggest spenders in the window with seven new signings, but were forced to hang on for a point when Morgan Schneiderlin was sent-off 14 minutes from time for a second yellow card.

Sheffield United grabbed a late point away to Bournemouth on their return to the top flight after a 13-year absence.

Chris Mepham put the Cherries in front just after the hour mark on the south coast, but Billy Sharp’s strike two minutes from time salvaged a 1-1 draw for the Blades.

Last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham begin their campaign later on Saturday at home to Aston Villa.

AFP